Heroin grows as alternative to prescription drugs

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming public health officials don't systematically track heroin deaths in the state, but it's clear that the nation's least populated state isn't immune to a national rise in heroin use.

Increasingly, people who first become addicted to expensive prescription painkillers have turned to heroin as a cheaper substitute — often with fatal results.

The Wyoming Department of Health reports that overdose deaths — including prescription and illicit drugs — rose from 29 in 2005 to 116 in 2012.

In Laramie County, District Attorney Scott Homar says his office is seeing an increase in heroin possession and sales cases.

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